China holds state commemoration for Nanjing Massacre victims

Photo taken on Dec. 13, 2020 shows the national memorial ceremony for the Nanjing Massacre victims at the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

NANJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) — The people of Nanjing observed a minute of silence and sirens were heard across the city as China held a memorial ceremony on Sunday to mourn the 300,000 victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Despite the winter chill, thousands of people clad in dark attire attended the massacre’s seventh national memorial ceremony in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, with white flowers pinned to their chests to convey their condolences. Attendees included massacre survivors, local students and foreign visitors.

At exactly 10:01 a.m., sirens began to blare and drivers across the city stopped their cars and sounded their horns. Pedestrians paused for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims.

More than 80 teenagers read out a declaration of peace and citizen representatives struck the Bell of Peace. White doves symbolizing hope for peace were released to fly over the square of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.

In 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, which took place when Japanese troops captured the city on Dec. 13, 1937. The Japanese invaders brutally killed about 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers during the six-week massacre, making it one of the most barbaric episodes of World War II. 

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